10/06/2005

Sacred Secrets

I wasn't sure if I would write about my penpal, my lucky star plucked out of Ver's jolleebee cap. If you look hard enough you will find my penpal's identity, but I'd rather leave the illusion for myself that my penpal is a secret pal, a mix of fairy ink and seeded paper, traveling on the winds to my mailbox.

In the blogcircle I've found myself in, we have talked about the vulnerability of writing on paper, with ink and stamps and everything. How the page, unlike the screen and keyboard seems more permanent, more definite, more real, and how our words take on weight and meaning that is sometimes skimmed past in the speed of clicking keys.

What I didn't realize, though, is that in the reciprocation, the receiving of the letter, I feel as if I have been given a treasure, a secret, something sacred, because I know there is vulnerability, hope, joy, and trepidation with each stroke of that purple pen. And I want to hold that close to my heart and keep it safe from what I guess I perceive as a somewhat hostile place called the 'net.

Odd, really, since I write mostly online. Why should these words, this sheet of heavy paper become so fragile and precious as to stir protectiveness?

My penpal writes of reading me, of what my words mean to his/her life, of how we have share spaces online and how what she does and who s/he is related to connects somehow to me. A conjoinment, a deepening that was not there before his/her letter arrived.

It is a good thing, a treasured thing, a letter I will read again and again, turning it over in my hands like a talisman against the anxiety that has gripped me recently.

It is also a call to respond, something I am happy to do, but not at this moment.

Now is the moment of gratitude for a gift finely given.

Thank you, penpal, thank you.

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